Guest Contributor: Dozie Oheri
CEO of Choose to DO, Inc.
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Black mental wellness to me means having conversations the help us to recognize, deal and heal past traumas. It means that we seek help when we recognize that we are not okay. It means connecting with and expressing our emotions. It means teaching the next generation that healing is one of the most important acts you can do.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
Through my nonprofit called Choose to DO, Inc. that mentors youth with underutilized potential ages 9 - 19 years old. Our mission is to focus on the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking.
What are some upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?
We are hosting our summer youth programs around the city, which can be found on our website at www.choosetodoinc.org.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I graduated with my Bachelors in Health Science and I have been an advocate for mental health in communities of color, for women and children for 10+ years.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?
We work with therapists and mental health professionals such as yoga instructors, meditation instructors etc. to incorporate different practices and techniques into our curriculum.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
That therapy can be fun!
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
Continue to discuss the topic.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
Continuing to discuss mental health.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
To have a good time talking about mental health while learning about themselves.
Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?
I come from an immigrant home, and I am the only girl among 4 boys. That dynamic brought on a lot of emotional challenges that caused me to struggle with my self-worth as I grew older. By the time I got to college, I was depressed and did not know it. At some point, I recognized that I needed help and decided to see a therapist, which started my journey to working on my self-esteem.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
It is an active choice that I make when I recognize that I am not doing well. Then I pause to do things that I enjoy, which involve being outside and being creative.
Dozie Oheri is the Founder/CEO of Choose to DO, Inc. She started the organization because she was frustrated with the lack of care that she witnessed working and volunteering in the nonprofit industry, and with that frustration she decided to create her own nonprofit to build healthier relationships between nonprofits and the communities they served. Choose to DO, Inc. is a nonprofit that mentors youth with underutilized potential ages 9 - 19 years old. Our mission is to focus on the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking. We are a mental health and wellness organization for young adults. Choose to DO, Inc. uses Social Emotional Learning to work with our youth in a group setting, with the purpose of building their self esteem, affirming their identity and teaching leadership so they can be the best versions of themselves.